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Daily Business Report-Sept. 9, 2015

Daily Business Report-Sept. 9, 2015

2015 El Nino Could be One of

The Strongest Since the 1950s

Maybe we should start referring to this year’s El Niño as Elvis. After all, scientists are now saying that the ocean temperature event, which affects global weather, is possibly one of the most powerful since the days when The King was at the top of the charts.

In its latest update, the World Meteorological Organization — the UN’s authoritative body for studying weather and ocean-atmosphere interaction — says the 2015-2016 El Niño event is the strongest since 1997-1998 and is potentially among the four strongest events since 1950.

WMO also said that the peak strength of this El Niño is expected to occur from October to next January, but that its impacts are already evident in some regions and will be more apparent for at least the next four to eight months.

In case you’re still unclear on the concept, The  Scripps Institution of Oceanography explains that El Niño is a temporary change in the climate of the Pacific Ocean, in the region around the equator, which becomes slightly warmer. Normally, east-to-west winds push warm water westward and pull up colder deep water to replace it in the east, moderating ocean temperatures.

In an El Niño season, those winds weaken, so that the warm water drifts eastward and cold water isn’t pulled up to replace it. That, in turn, can cause all sorts of unusual weather effects, ranging from more intense storms along the West Coast of North America and heavier rainfall in the Southeastern United States, to drought in Indonesia and Australia.

So why is this year’s El Niño so potent? David Carlson, director of the WMO co-sponsored World Climate Research Programme, explains in the release that the 2015 El Niño is the first to take place since the rapid melting of Arctic sea ice and snow cover. The unprecedented combination of these two factors has us heading into uncharted weather territory.

“This is a new planet,” Carlson says. “Will the two patterns reinforce each other or cancel each other? We have no precedent. Climate change is increasingly going to put us in this situation. We don’t have a previous event like this.”


Recycled Water Station

Recycled Water Station

Water District Giving Away Free Water

The Olivenhain Municipal Water District in Encinitas is giving away free water to its customers — water that is not subject to mandatory water use restrictions.

The Recycled Water Fill Station, located at Campania Avenue and Camino San Thomas, will open today to dispense recycled water for customers who want to use it for residential landscaping.

District customers will be able to utilize one of several self-serve pumps at the station to fill their water containers.

The grand opening is scheduled for 9 to 10 a.m.

Cruise Ship Season

Gets Underway Today

The Port of San Diego’s cruise season kicks off  today with the arrival of Celebrity Cruises’ Infinity. The 2,170-passenger vessel will stop at San Diego harbor as part of a nine-night Pacific coastal cruise that begins and ends in San Francisco.

October is a busy cruise month with the Disney Wonder arriving in port on Thursday, Oct. 1, for a three-night Baja cruise. The vessel returns for three five-day Baja cruises that begin and end at the Port of San Diego.

Other highlights in October include a 15-day Mexican Riviera Cruise on Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Norwegian Sun, and an 18-day Inca Discovery Cruise on Holland America Lines’ Zaandam.

The Port’s cruise season runs from September through May.

Currently 65 vessels are scheduled to arrive, but the number may change as the season progresses. 

The Port’s homeported (cruises that begin and end in San Diego) lines are Disney Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Holland America Line and Celebrity Cruises. On average, each homeported cruise has an economic impact of $2 million to the region, according to the Port Districr.That impact is from passenger spending, businesses servicing the vessel, transportation services, crew spending and more.

Last year, the Port completed a $31 million project that completely redesigned the North Embarcadero area, adjacent to where the cruise ships berth. Improvements encompassed an area from the Midway Pier to the B Street Cruise Ship Terminal.

Widened esplanades, public seating areas, jacaranda groves and public art now greet cruise guests as they embark or disembark. Another addition will be a new restaurant, the Carnitas’ Snack Shack location at the North Embarcadero, which is expected to open in January/February 2016.

Illumina and Asuragen Collaborate

On Diagnostic Development

San Diego-based Illumina and Asuragen plan to collaborate on companion diagnostics development, Asuragen said today.

Under the agreement, Asuragen will leverage its Quantidex next-generation sequencing product platform and Illumina’s MiSeq Dx instrument, which has U.S. Food and Drug Administration 510(k) clearance, to develop customized companion diagnostics for its biotech and pharmaceutical partners.

President and CEO of Asuragen Matt McManus said in a statement that the firm’s Quantidex NGS product platform would enable pharmaceutical and biotech companies to develop “a unique DNA and/or RNA panel of interest.”

Doug Wilson Selects Key Leaders as Firm

Moves into Senior Living Developments

With an eye to the future, Doug Wilson, founder of the Douglas Wilson Companies, has promoted his son, Nicholas P. Wilson, to chief operating officer, and Michele Vives to senior managing director.

Nicholas Wilson

Nicholas Wilson

“I felt it was important to promote and engage DWC’s next generation of leadership in developing our changing vision,” said Wilson, who founded the company in 1989. “These new leaders take on added roles as we move into the senior housing arena and begin our first single- and multi-family residential projects in San Diego.”

Wilson said the firm is embarking on a new product line of senior living communities with an assisted living and memory care focus, with the first local venture expected to break ground in early 2016. real estate firm is also expected to break ground next year on new single-family housing in West Chula Vista.

Nich Wilson joined the company in 2011 as a director. Since then he has identified new development opportunities in the Southwest, managed client relations and overseen DWC’s receivership group. In his new role, he will lead the team seeking new opportunities in residential, hotel and medical office development. He also continues his efforts in commercial development.

 Michele Vives

Michele Vives

Before joining the company Nich Wilson was involved in international sports and consumer marketing. At, 32, he recently became the youngest member of the San Diego Downtown Partnership’s Executive Committee.

Vives, who joined DWC in 2014, steps up to senior managing director charged to oversee the senior housing projects on the company’s horizon.  Among those is a new facility in Otay Ranch with 125 units that is set for a 2016 groundbreaking. She also manages the firm’s third-party fee development services group, overseeing development strategies, contract negotiations, entitlement, permitting and community outreach.

Over the past decade in the real estate development industry, Vives has built extensive expertise in public-private partnerships and third-party development services. She has been involved in projects totaling over 2.5 million square feet of space valued at more than $875 million.

Researchers Document Accuracy

Of Rapid Testing for Tuberculosis

Medical illustration of tuberculosis. Image courtesy of the CDC

Medical illustration of tuberculosis. Image courtesy of the CDC

Researchers at the UC San Diego School of Medicine have documented the accuracy of three new tests for more rapidly diagnosing drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis (TB), which are much harder and more expensive to treat and which, experts say, represent a major threat to global public health.

The study is published online in the current issue of PLOS ONE.

“Our study shows that TB testing that once took two to three months can now be done in as little as a day,” said co-author Richard Garfein, professor in the Division of Global Public Health at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “This means we can put people on the right medications sooner, spare them the toxic effects of drugs that are ineffective and prevent the development of drug resistant forms of TB that can occur when the wrong medications are given.”

Although rates of TB are declining in the United States due to effective control measures, it  remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases, causing (or contributing to) an estimated 1.5 million deaths in 2013, according to the World Health Organization. TB is also the leading killer of people who have HIV.

UC San Diego Ranked a Top 10 Public University

The UC San Diego is ranked the 9th best public university in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 Best Colleges guidebook, which was released today. In addition, UC San Diego is named the 39th best university in the U.S. among more than 200 public, private and for-profit institutions.

In addition to the university rankings, U.S. News & World Report included two undergraduate academic rankings for engineering and business programs. The UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering’s undergraduate program is ranked 23rd, up three spots compared to last year, in the category for engineering schools that award doctorates.

Man Who Engineered Purchase of

San Diego Union-Tribune is Fired

City News Service

Austin Beutner, the civic leader and former Wall Street investment banker who became publisher and chief executive of the Los Angeles Times last year and orchestrated the purchase of the San Diego Union-Tribune, was fired Tuesday by the papers’ parent company, Tribune Publishing Co.

Baltimore Sun publisher Tim Ryan was tapped to replace Beutner overseeing The Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune. The Sun is also a Tribune Publishing paper.

Tribune officials gave no indication of the reasons behind Beutner’s ouster.

“The California News Group is a critical component of our company’s portfolio and business strategy, and the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune are world-class institutions with deep connections to the communities they serve,” Tribune Publishing CEO Jack Griffin said.

Beutner engineered Tribune’s purchase of the San Diego newspaper in May, part of a strategy to consolidate Southern California newspapers under common ownership as a way to reduce production and distribution costs and generate revenue for digital initiatives. The two papers comprised the newly formed California News Group under Beutner.

Beutner, 55, was named Times publisher in August 2014. In seeking to offset the decline of print advertising revenue, he introduced multiple initiatives, according to the newspaper.

 From left, Jason Hughes, David Marino, Star Hughes-Gorup and Tucker Hughes

From left, Jason Hughes, David Marino, Star Hughes-Gorup and Tucker Hughes

Hughes Marino Team Wins Brokers of the Year Honors

Hughes Marino President and CEO Jason Hughes and Executive Vice President David Marino have been named Brokers of the Year by the Irving Company, along with company Directors Star Hughes-Gorup and Tucker Hughes.

This is the first year that Hughes-Gorup and Tucker Hughes have been acknowledged as winners of the award. The second generation of Hugheses –who followed their father, Jason Hughes, and mother, Hughes Marino co-owner and COO Shay Hughes into the family business — were recognized for their accomplishments in representing companies leasing tens of thousands of square feet of office space owned by The Irvine Company.

Both Jason Hughes and Marino have been consistently recognized by the Irvine Company each year for more than a decade for being at the top of the brokerage industry, representing a majority of tenants within the company’s portfolio of commercial real estate.

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We Want Your Opinions on San Diego’s Big Issues In the coming months, Probosky Research (one of California’s leading opinion research firms) will continue its partnership with SD METRO to survey San Diego residents about topics of interest to our readers. We’d like to throw open the door for suggestions for topics. What do you want to know? What do you think you know, but aren’t sure? What are you certain you know, but want to prove it beyond doubt? Ideally, we’d like to see questions that have to do with public policy.

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